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Lent V – Passion Sunday

Our side-chapel altar, as decorated for Lent.

Daily Sermons
March 8 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The Beggar Prince
March 9 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Dominic Savio
March 10 – Fr. Lehtoranta – If We Die Rather Than Sin, We Will Live
March 11 – Bp. Dolan – Say What You Think
March 12 – Bp. Dolan – St. Gertrude and Reparation

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Laetare, Rejoice, week gave us a day or two of glory this year. The Sunday itself was resplendent in rose and with roses, as we counted the time until the Resurrection of Our Lord. We also rejoiced in the gift of religious, good Benedictine sisters, in our midst. Oh, and my Lenten Roses for the first time blossomed for Rose Sunday in Lent. Modest flowers, they keep their heads down like St. Aloysius. Some are dark, almost black, and others a brighter hue, as Lent brings us both crosses and consolations.

Sisters’ Sunday was a great success for the warm and generous welcome we gave our sisters, for the money raised, and for the nice Spring Sunday socializing it fostered. A good sized group stayed for the drawing after the 11:30, and the conclusion of the silent auction. Much visiting, some introductions. Many thanks to our helpers and tireless workers, and to the sisters who took the time from their own convent schedule and prayers to be with us.

Nature was not to be outdone. Although the sun peeked out Sunday, it remained chilly until Tuesday, one of those splendid sunny days of early Spring as rare as they are welcome.

Thanks to all of our welcome workers these late Lenten days. Some of you came forward to help Katie with cleaning and ironing. I am very grateful, as the sacristy workload is great in the lead up to Holy Week. Organized work pays off as Katie’s piles of linen shrink slowly, and order is restored. God always sends a way. Thanks for being part of the solution.

I must say the same thing about our creative Lenten cooks up the challenge of vegan fare. We are doing better this year than last, and are grateful to God who feeds the hungry, and to you! Although I do still get Divine Office distractions about “what we are to eat,” they are less and I try “not to be solicitous.” Deo Gratias. We pray for our benefactors at these same Divine Offices. Our school boys do as well. I notice them participating now, picking up the Latin of the Psalms.

Have you noticed the new little church in the vestibule? At long last we’ve replaced the one that was stolen several years ago. This Building Fund “piggy bank” was originally Connie Kamphaus’s idea, until some sacrilegious thief gave into temptation. Chip McClorey and Thomas Simpson spent a long time planning, designing and constructing the handsome (and virtually thief proof) church which now collects odd offerings for the ongoing needs of our building. Thank you for this as well.

But God forbid we should ever only think of ourselves, of our own building, and not of building up the church throughout the world. This past week, for example, our priests’ work spanned some 6,000 miles for example, along the equator, from Ecuador in South America to Nigeria in Africa. Both of these countries are near the equator, but are warmed even more by the presence of persevering Catholics who love their Faith and their Mass.

Fr. McKenna’s initial and brief reports indicate a successful visit to the Catholics of San Francisco de Quito. He is now back in Milwaukee, about to do another northern (no equator here!) mission run before returning to us in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Of course.

St. Patrick is also patron saint of Nigeria, so we send our prayers to Fr. Nkamuke and his four faithful flocks for their feast day come Thursday. Father is most grateful for your support, and hopes to return for a visit to St. Gertrude one of these days.

Fr. Hecquard, who figures in some of our beautiful calendar photos, spoke with me the other day. He is holding the fort in France, a scene of almost universal distress and division for faithful Catholics. Father offers Mass for a small congregation near Tours, and cares for his elderly parents. He still returns to Rennes to visit the sick and bring them the Sacraments regularly. The St. Pius V Chapel, where he was ordained, is no more, lost to a wrecker’s ball. Pray for that group, now meeting in an unsuitable building in an ill lit industrial park outside of town. Their legal existence is precarious, and they need our prayers at this difficult time.

On a brighter note, we heard recently from a Canadian Catholic who follows our Mass daily on the internet, as well as our articles and sermons. This man is almost 500 miles from the nearest Mass, but finds great consolation at sggresources.org. We have much to be thankful for, including the means to share our riches of the Catholic Faith.

St. Joseph gets tucked in among the palms and purple this year, on Saturday morning, just before Holy Week. Let us not forget, though, that this is his month, and Saturday his day. Sunday he will help us to an excellent and holy Holy Week.

Blessed Passiontide! Thank you for being part of all the wonderful work done here each year.

Bishop Dolan